Hello folks. We are PC users (mainly MIDI and audio) who are looking to changeover to a Mac environment, but are a little confused about what is required. With our PCs at present, we are accustomed to being able to plug in various devices directly into the ports connected to the sound card at the back of the PC. We don't require any other 'interfaces' or other hardware. There are Line In, Mic In,MIDI I/O, and also the usual Line Out. I have been to the Apple website to look at Garage Band and the Mac Mini, and the impression we get is that although there is obviously some kind of on-board sound (and a headphone socket on the Mac Mini) a further interface is required to connect equipment in order to get signals IN (by the USB ports in this case). From what I have seen of the multi-audio input devices, they appear to be a kind of external sound card with USB connection. This would be fair enough, though why Apple seem to leave this hardware out of a standard set up, I don't understand. But these audio interfaces don't seem to have any hardware synthesizers integrated, and this would leave just the software synthesizer in the Mac which would then have to be amplified. If this is the case (regarding the software synthesizer) then latency is unavoidable. Can someone here clear this matter up for us, and set us straight if our assumptions are wrong. Macs are fine pieces of equipment but they are somewhat more costly to buy than a PC setup. This could be justified if all necessary ports and hardware were included. However,if one then has to buy interfaces and other add-on gear it becomes less appealing, to someone wanting to change systems, especially if one's budget is limited. I would appreciate any links or directions to sites that could clear up our confusion.